CEO Confidential

List of Good Habits Every Fortune CEO Have in Common

List of Good Habits Every Fortune CEO Have in Common

Around 50% of the most successful CEOs believe that teamwork is an essential part of any business structure. Great minds think alike and share the same habits too.

Being ritualistic gives a direction to our work and inculcating that in our daily lives will only show us the direction towards our purpose.

When you are in command of a business, the adrenaline rush to multitask becomes your best friend. You learn to restructure your day and take up habits that add to the process.

Ponder over this list of good habits that every Fortune CEO has in common:-

1. Early bird catches the worm

In our old school days when we used to listen to the birds call every morning to the day we grew up and our noon became our mornings, we somewhere lost the habit of waking up early.

However, almost all the successful leaders tagged along this habit till even after they became successful.

With no distractions and more room to focus, our minds work best in the morning. The same can be reflected on the life of any successful leader. Tim Cook, for one, starts his day at 4:30 in the morning by responding to his emails.

The Sleep Routines of Highly Successful People:

  • Arianna Huffingtont, author and columnist: 7 hours per night (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.)
  • Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States: 6 hours per night (1 a.m. – 7 a.m.)
  • Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft: 7 hours per night (12 a.m. – 7 a.m.)
  • Donald Trump, President of the United States: 4 hours per night (1 a.m. -5 a.m.)
  • Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj, CEO of CEOWORLD magazine: 6 hours per night (11 p.m. – 5 a.m.)
  • Ellen DeGeneres, TV Host: 8 hours per night (11 p.m. – 7 a.m.)
  • Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX: 6 hours per night (1 a.m. – 7 a.m.)
  • Indra Nooyi – Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo: 4 hours per night
  • Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter: 7 hours per night (10:30 p.m. – 5:30 a.m.)
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon.com: 7 hours per night (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.)
  • Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo: 4-6 hours per night
  • Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India: 4-5 hours per night
  • Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group: 5-6 hours per night (12 a.m. – 5/6 a.m.)
  • Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: 4 hours per night
  • Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL: 6 hours per night (11 p.m. – 5 a.m.)
  • Tim Cook, CEO of Apple: 7 hours per night (9:30 p.m. – 4:30 a.m.)

2. Exercise

To take on huge responsibilities, it is of utmost importance that our mind and body are on par with each other. Physical health is as important as mental health.

On an average, all the successful CEOs exercise for at least 45 minutes daily. If these CEOs can find time in their tightly packed schedule to exercise, then so can you.

3. A big no to skipping breakfast

A considerable number of people are in the habit of skipping breakfast. But the successful CEOs make sure their stomach has been looked after before they start their day.

Besides filling your tummy, taking enough breakfast can also give you a chance to reap other health related benefits. With balanced blood sugar levels, quick recovery from injury and improved memory, you will really have very less to worry about.

4. They practice meditation

Meditating or spending some time to reflect in solitude can give you a lot of perspectives. Take this from Oprah Winfrey who takes twenty minutes out to meditate anytime along the day.

With lower stress levels and lower blood pressure, we can only benefit from meditation.

5. Wisely use the time you get while commuting to work

Spending almost 25 to 40 minutes to reach their office, all the successful CEOs have agreed to use that time productively. While we have all the time in the world, we still complain about never having enough time to spend productively.

Preparing for a meeting, listening to business-related podcasts, catching up on a critical issue or simply reading something informative are some of the use to use commuting time productively. These tycoons fit in anything that proves worthwhile during this time span, so should you.

6. Climb the mountain when you are at your strongest

It’s human tendency to get lured by the ease of some work. Scientists have discovered that a couple of hours after we wake up is the time when our brain is the sharpest.

Why then drain your energies on something less worthwhile? The top CEOs have accepted to use this time of the day in setting strategies and creating goals.

We can all take this advice to complete the toughest or most important task of the day at this time and remain stress-free for the hours to come.

7. Bringing structure by encouraging teamwork

Most of the top Fortune CEOs spend a considerable amount of time in engaging with employees and teams directly. Boosting the motivation of your employees is very important as it has a direct impact on business productivity.

The CEO of Costco, Jim Sinegal is as involved with his employees as coworkers are with each other. His name tag says ‘Jim’ and according to the contract made by him, even he can be fired for not completing his tasks.

We can definitely learn a lot from this guy!

8. Re-fuel

The deeds our stomach makes us do! The Fortune 500 CEOs need to stay attentive towards their diet from time to time.

Taking a break during the day to have a mouthful of something will not only satisfy your nerves but also give you some lone time to strategize or fulfill a hobby.

Taking up an activity and fulfilling it will only teach you how to be dedicated towards your work in life.

9. Personal development is as important as achieving work goals

Our mind is a maze and it is very easy to get lost in it. If you trust your mind-maze to remember something for the future, then you are committing a huge mistake.

It is for the same reason that detailed business plans are made. However, you can inculcate this even for your personal development. Whenever something comes up in your mind, make sure you jot it down in your diary.

Learn from your leisure pursuits lessons about yourself. Then use these lessons to better yourself each day.

10. Let go at the end of the day

Being driven is a good trait. However, you should also know when to stop. Even the most hardworking, workaholic CEOs have admitted that burning the midnight oil every night can be harmful. So once you are out of your work zone, reflect upon the day, strategize about the next and then leave it be. Sleep when it is time to sleep.

The COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg agrees that distractions during the night can hamper your sleep. So, to focus more on the sleep, she shuts her phone down every night before going to bed.

11. Make the most out of everything

It is very important to have a routine and follow it diligently. The brightest of minds create goals for their day right from morning till night.

Everybody has a unique routine that they follow. However, formulating a habit and sustaining it like a ritual will help maintain a work-life balance.

12. Have a to-do list

You have your goals set. Your energies are on your side. But what will you do if you don’t have your priorities set?

If you have your important tasks or priorities written down on a note, it will only relieve your mind and take off the pressure.

To become as successful as Fortune 500 CEOs, you need to maintain the clarity of mind and see our goals clearly.

13. Reduction on meetings

Most of the meetings are a sheer waste of time. So, see to it that you hold a meeting only when you cannot do without it. Holding a meeting when you can instead use email or phone calls to communicate seems unnecessary.

Even if you do have to hold meetings make sure you have them as less lengthy as possible. Always time your meetings and go by the watch to end them.

14. Deal tactfully with communication

Emails and messages are an important part of any business. However, they have the power to drain your energy as well. We spend a lot of time communicating over these forms of communication. But we can’t do without them too.

So, use some limitations while texting or emailing. Be concise in your replies. If a reply needs time and explanation, then convert it into a phone call.

Instead of responding instantly to every ping, allot a specific time to your emails. This reduces distractions.

15. Be generous

With time we learn the importance of being generous.  Our business earns the profit for us. We can always use parts of our profits for helping others.

Bill Gates set an example by building a transparent charity for the development of education and eradicating poverty.

If we have enough with which we can help even one soul, then it wouldn’t do us any harm to assist. Generosity can lie within the covers of every task we do.

Right from appreciating an employee for his hard work to opening a charity to help others, every act reflects our generosity.

16. Become an expert

Knowledge has always been the ultimate power. Knowledge inculcates confidence. And confidence makes great leaders. It is weapon for the mind. In a field where you have to deal with minds, this weapon comes real handy.

The CEO of Starbucks focuses on hiring people even smarter than him, so as to keep learning while he is teaching.

There is never no room for improvement. We need to understand that we have never learnt enough to stop learning.

Summing It up

All these habits have been practiced by every Fortune CEO and success is proof that these habits work. You can only look after a business if you are responsible enough. And responsibility comes with certain discipline.

Being disciplined in our day to day lives only makes us more focused. It ensures that if we are able to direct our day to day activity towards achieving personal goals, then sure as hell, we can direct our business towards achieving its goals.

Direct your energies towards these habits and you will sure rise as high as fire.

Written by: Madhan Raj, Growth Hacker at Signaturia, professional email signature tool for business.

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Featured Columnists at the CEOWORLD Magazine is a team of experts led by Camilla O'Donnell, James Reed, Amarendra Bhushan, and Amanda Millar. The CEOWORLD Magazine is the worlds leading business and technology magazine for CEOs (chief executives) and top-level management professionals.
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